I entered this quite some time ago; I can't quite remember if it was because I watched the video on the homepage (http://www.vegan-welsh-3000s.co.uk/
) or because Jack said he was doing it, or a combination of both. Either way, I've never been up Snowdon or indeed been to any of Snowdonia before (since I was 5 or something) so this was a good way of seeing everything in one day.
It was only later on that I found out it would be 55k and 4000m of ascent, and I'd been nervous about it ever since. Unfortunately Jack was injured so couldn't join me anyway (although it's not like we'd have been running together anyway so this only made a social difference).
The race briefing and comprehensive kit-check didn't finish until 9pm, so only arrived at my Airbnb at 9:30pm and then took another hour sorting everything out for the morning; got up at 2:30am so only 4 hours sleep! Then left at 3am to arrive for 3:30 to get the 4am bus to start at 5...
Pretty straightforward up Snowdon and happy with my time up there. Unlike anyone else, I actually visited the very top since I'd lost sight of any flags and wasn't sure of the route off the top. So a few minutes could've been saved there.
Crib Goch was terrifying. The rocks were extremely slippery after the rain the night before, and the mist in the air (it wasn't raining, but there was jog condensing in my hair and on all the moss etc). I took this very gingerly. The Fellraisers did not handle wet rock well. Someone commented that the inov-8 rubber compound was stickier and better for wet rock, so maybe made the wrong shoe choice. The Fellraisers were better on the roads and they were fine on the dry rock later in the day. Anyway I lost a signifcant amount of time being extra careful and was at least 20% slower here than people I eventually beat. Definitely another 5 mins to be saved here on a drier day.
Did quite well on the downhill bit to the first aid station, and only stopped for three-or-so vegan protein balls (no idea what was in them or how they stuck together, but they were lovely). Actually quite happy with my splits for the rest of the race. Didn't enjoy coming down Tryfan as it was so rocky and steep, but the rocks on that bit were drier so don't think I could've done it much faster. Spent a few minutes on various sections hunting for the next flag as they were quite hard to see in the mist sometimes. Didn't lose too much time though. The run down to the finish from the last summit was pretty quick as I had someone to catch (which I did Jean Brown, although I was very lucky you stopped for a quick toilette otherwise it would've been much closer!).
Definitely over-nutritioned for the race. I took 15 energy bars and ate 4, and 2 packs of shot-bloks and ate 1.5. I hadn't accounted for quite how well stocked the aid stations would be and how much I would eat! Filled my water bottles up from near-empty at the second aid station and they were pretty much empty again at the end, so drank 2 litres over the race. Ate a lot at the second aid station including another 4 protein balls, various bits of vegan cake and things. It was all good stuff.
42nd / 149 finishers. I thought I'd done better than this position-wise; didn't realise quite how many people were in the pack that disappeared at the beginning. But I'm pleased with the time (official time 10:10:20, not chip timed or anything so I guess everyone is a couple of minutes out) - didn't really know what to 'aim' for but looking at last year's results I decided 11 hours would be a good target. If I'd done the same time last year I'd have come 21st; I think the Skyrunning series is gradually getting more and more of a big following.
Food at the end was brilliant and it's probably worth doing the race again just for that.
My knee is a bit sore again in the same way as after I've done super-long things in the past; probably haven't been doing my hip exercises for long enough for them to have made enough of a difference. No other injuries though, which is good. I think I coped with it mentally okay. I broke it up into 11 parkruns which seemed to help. What did not
help was thinking after 13k - "only a marathon to go!".
If I did this again, 10 hours would be the obvious target time and I think it's achievable with knowledge of the route and a dry day. The winning time of 7:45 is incredible. https://www.strava.com/activities/1051876275